Books within books

hornby how to be good Books within booksI’ve just finished reading two adult books in which the title of the book you’re reading is the same as a book in the characters’ world. The Best of Youth by Michael Dahlie is about a ghostwriter of a YA novel called… The Best of Youth. Nick Hornby’s How to Be Good stars a protagonist whose husband is working on a book/lifestyle guide called How to Be Good — and his sanctimonious behavior is driving her crazy.

I can think of a few quick examples of this title-within-a-title in children’s lit: The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly, The Neverending Story by Michael Ende, and the upcoming Handbook for Dragon Slayers by Merrie Haskell. I’m sure there are many others. Can you think of some?

share save 171 16 Books within books
Elissa Gershowitz About Elissa Gershowitz

Elissa Gershowitz is senior editor of The Horn Book Magazine and online content editor for The Horn Book, Inc. She is a current member of the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee.

Comments

  1. I came over here thinking “Surely somebody’s mentioned So You Want to Be a Wizard by now?” and nobody’d mentioned anything at all, so here’s me mentioning it.

Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind

*